WD1501FASS 1.5 TB Black drives respond slowly sometimes

I recently built a new machine with the following germane hardware:

Asus P6X58D-E MB

Core i7-950

6GB RAM (8-8-8-24)

1 Corsair F120 SSD drive (system drive)

3 WD 1.5 TB Black 7200 RPM drives in RAID 5

I put all my stuff on my D: (raid5) drive.  I have a dir there named ‘Documents’.  Sometimes when I go to open up my folders, it will open right up.  Other times, I get the spinning circle for up to 15 seconds.  I also keep my data files there as well, such as outlook, quickbooks, et al.  These are things I’ve tried changing, based on feedback I’ve found online.  So far none have worked:

1.  Disabled BITS service (somebody said this fixed it for them, no luck for me)

2.  Disabled A/V software (I run MS Security Essentials) in various forms, from completely turning it off to disabling real-time scan.

3.  Gone to Folders > View > Customize This Folder > Set to General Items.  I’ve done this for my “Documents” dir on D: and all sub-dirs.  I’ve confirmed that it took on the subdirs.

4.  I’ve turned on Indexing for the entire RAID drive (and turned it off as well).  Neither seems to have a noticeable effect.

As I mentioned, it only does this sometimes.  Sometimes I’ll open Outlook and it will prompt me for my password immediately (I have the pst file pw protected).  Other times it will hang and when I go to explorer to open that folder, that will hang also, then both will come up at the same time.

I presumed that, since I was using the ICH10R onboard controller, I was not getting premium quality from my RAID controller.  I then broke the RAID up and have 3 separate drives.  I still get the same symptoms.  I’ve also tried rotating

the drives (going into Windows and changing which is my working “D” drive).  I get the same results from all three drives.

I’ve run various diagnostic tools such as CrystalDisk, DiskBench, and WD’s Data Lifeguard for Windows.  All say the drives are fine.

I think 3 drives being bad is highly unlikely.  At this point, I’d have to say it has to be the MB (nothing to indicate any issue with that) or Windows itself.  I’ve posted in the Windows forums and haven’t really gotten any answer.

I am running Windows 7 ultimate.  I don’t have this issue with the Corsair SSD drive.  Does anybody have any suggestions as to what this issue might be?  Is it possible that, after I’ve been away from the machine, the drive is

flushing things out of cache and trying to load other things into cache and it’s taking a few seconds to do this?

Thanks very much.

Did you ever get help on this?

No, I never did.

hardware or software raid?

do the drives ever spin down?

Hardware RAID.  I’ve since pulled the drives out of the RAID, so that’s not the issue.  As far as the drives spinning down, not that I can tell.  But since I don’t know the exact cause, that could be a possibility.